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Crunching Data in the Search for Boston Suspects

Althea Chang
Big Data Download

Authorities are using big data in their search for the second suspect and possible accomplices in the bombings at the Boston Marathon, according to one security expect.The first suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police. The second suspect, identified as his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, is still at large.

"You've got physical evidence and electronic sources of evidence. The data you assemble and get through all the multiple sources, that could reveal destinations, hideouts and modes of escape," said former FBI Assistant Director Van Harp.

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Harp said the suspect and any other accomplices are in escape mode and could be communicating with each other. By tracking phone calls in real time, authorities can determine a call's point of origin and possibly the suspect's destination.

People in the Boston area can also help in the continued search, Harp told "Big Data Download." He said calling loved ones and friends could help reveal discrepancies, missing persons, and even possible hostage situations.

Earlier this week, Boston Marathon spectators and runners were asked to check their cell phone pictures for any images of the suspects during the event.

-- Erin McClam contributed to this story.